The other day one of my friends asked me how I find motivation to workout. I gave her a lot of answers, and I’m not totally sure it was all that helpful, but it really got me thinking about that.
On days when working out seems tough, I remind myself that this is something that I chose to do. Even if it’s an activity I love, sometimes – like the times when I’m tired and my bed is warm, or it’s been a long day, etc. – I have to remind myself that I love it. I remind myself that I’ll feel better afterwards. And that I like who I am better when I fulfill my commitments toward my fitness goals.
I was reminded of this way of thinking during 40 Days yoga challenge. At a meeting a girl said that originally, participating in 40 Days was stressing her out. She said she made herself a victim of her own decision. It was a feeling I could relate to. But by focusing on the choice and remembering why she made it, the stress subsided.
It works when I’m in the middle of a tough workout too. On days when running seems tough, and one more mile just seems too far, I remind myself that I chose this. I remind myself that I’m lucky to be out there. That there are plenty of people that would love to trade places with me. That there were days, not so very long ago, when that distance would have been almost been impossible and it’s possible that those days could come again.
It’s a tactic that works well with anything. Well, a lot of things. (I haven’t tried focusing on my choice to clean the house, yet.) When I focus on the choice I get a little sense of control and power. And we all kind of need that sometimes. We’re used to seeing fitness and workouts as something that you have to do. I mean, it’s called work-ing out, right? Our society focuses on how to drop a dress size in the quickest way. It’s like everyone is looking for the easiest way out.
But what if we all focused a little less on the working part of working out? No, I’m not suggesting you start calling it something dumb like a “fun out.” I’m not that lame. But if we focused on the choice and all the reasons why we liked it, then maybe it would be a little bit easier.